Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to Opening Day!
Countdown to Opening Day – 63 days
According to the fantastic resource that is Baseball-Reference.com, 140 players have worn the number 63 in a Major League game during their careers. The Cleveland Indians have had five players from that list use wear the number, with two of them providing some of the best career statistics of a number 63 to date.
As Did The Tribe Win Last Night helps fans count down the days until the Indians retake the field in an official Major League game, we look back at some of the players who wore the Cleveland jersey with pride.
Countdown to Opening Day – 63 days
According to the fantastic resource that is Baseball-Reference.com, 129 players have worn the number 63 in a Major League game during their careers. The Cleveland Indians have had five players from that list use the digits, with three of them providing some of the best career statistics of a number 63 to date.
Eric Bell was the first Cleveland Indians player to wear 63 when he took the mound for the Tribe as a reliever in 1991 and 1992, working in 17 games, making just one start, and posting a 4-2 record with a 3.78 ERA in those two years. Andrew Lorraine brought the number back to begin the next decade during his ten-game stay as a reliever for the club in 2000. Once Victor Martinez debuted the number in his first dozen Major League games in 2002, he set the trend for excellence for the number in Indians history.
There’s an old adage, “some of the best trades are the ones that are never made.”
It’s probably even more truer in free agency and the Indians are no better example. Two years ago the Tribe surprised its fan base and much of baseball when it spent an uncharacteristic $112 million on free agents Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Brett Myers and Mark Reynolds. Almost immediately it was obvious that Myers was a bad decision, and after a storm of homers in the first six weeks, Reynolds too was let go before 2013 ended.
A winter ago, the Indians were much more quiet, signing David Murphy and John Axford. Each were supposed to be veteran presence, lightening the load and pressure on the younger players around them. Instead, Axford was replaced as closer by Cody Allen after six weeks and Murphy had his second straight disappointing season. Mistakes in free agency can be costly and it has cost the Tribe in excess of $130 million over the last two winters. It’s no wonder the Indians have not been linked to any free agents this winter, not to mention the roster is full of players under team control for the foreseeable future.
This summer’s reunion between LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers was definite proof that words and actions can be forgiven and a player can indeed go back to a team where bridges were seemingly burned.
James returned four years after he ran out on the city and the fans that worshiped him while accepting the apology of an owner who had anything but kind words regarding his superstar’s departure.
This season did not turn out the way the Indians had anticipated when they started 2014. Playoff dreams remained just that, dreams, and despite their overall winning record, the team still ended their season without ever seeing an October game.
However, not every player who started on the Indians’ roster ended their season in that same way. The Indians parted with three well-known and long-term players this season who were able to move farther in the post season that they would have in an Indians’ uniform. While none are playing in the Fall Classic right now, it’s still worth it to give these departed players a nod and recap their seasons:
Today continues DTTWLN’s three week examination of the Indians 2014 season and where it fell short of the playoff expectations established last winter. The staff will examine where the season went wrong and the challenges the front office faces to make the Indians contenders in 2015.
Regression (n): the act of going back to a previous place or state; return or reversion.
The definition is simple enough to understand, but avoiding it seems to be much more complex, especially when it comes to the Cleveland Indians starting rotation.
The Cleveland Indians entered 2013 with their starting rotation as their largest question mark. After a poor 2012, where Justin Masterson (2012: 11-15, 4.93) and Ubaldo Jimenez (2012: 9-17, 5.40) were first and second in the American League in wild pitches and the Tribe had three pitching coaches in two seasons, there was major reason for concern.
Today begins DTTWLN’s three week examination of the Indians 2014 season and where it fell short of the playoff expectations established last winter. The staff will examine where the season went wrong and the challenges the front office faces to make the Indians contenders in 2015.
This wasn’t the plan when the Indians entered spring training.
After a breakout 2013 season, finishing with a 10-game win streak, the Cleveland Indians were a surprise member of the American League playoffs a year ago. And despite a quick exit after a 4-0 defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Indians had new expectations around the league, with their fan base and in their own locker room.
The 2014 season was a simple theme: Unfinished Business.